Not every idea is worth a TV series, and of these only a few
are hits, spinning off sequels and eventually movies. Rarest
of all is the TV show that somehow reaches beyond mere entertainment,
creating some kind of looking-glass in which we see ourselves.
That has been the fortunate fate of "Star Trek."
For 30 years the adventures of Spock, Kirk, the U.S.S. Enterprise,
and the subsequent crews, have been watched by millions of
fans at least once a day somewhere in the world. But what
clearly sets this show apart is the fan phenomenon it has
created, a group of people who have come to be known as "Trekkies"
a fan is one thing, but to be a "Trekkie" puts you
in a whole different league. Why this particular show? What
meaning has this show had in these people's lives? What kind
of spiritual or psychological impact does it have? Does the
show's message hold some kind of utopian ideal for the future?
Does the show somehow create a way for people to feel they
"fit in?" How has it inspired real life scientists,
doctors, astronauts, and engineers? The "Star Trek"
actors and the fans interviewed in TREKKIES answer these questions
and others. The subjects profiled in the documentary span
the entire spectrum of fans, from non-uniform wearing doctors,
scientists, and teachers to Trek-uniform-wearing Dentists,
Jurists, mothers, kids, and others. One fan is Barbara Adams.
Adams was chosen for jury duty in the Whitewater trial in
Little Rock, Arkansas. She also wore her Starfleet Commanding
Officer's uniform to the trial. Unusual, you might say? Not
to Lt. Commander Barbara Adams, who rarely leaves home without
her rank pips, tricorder, phaser, and communicator badge.
She has embraced the philosophy espoused in "Star Trek"
and lives her life accordingly. Barbara is a bright and thoughtful
woman as well as a talented artist. She also happens to be
a fascinating subject, as we discovered following her through
a typical day as a true-blue Trekkie, while she lets us in
on what this personally means to her.
Koerner is the fourteen-year-old from Bakersfield, California,
who has attended 28 conventions so far. He and his "Star
Trek" club are planning to shoot their own "Star
Trek" movie. And Gabriel is creating special effects
on his home computer that make some of Hollywood's best work
pale by comparison. We got to know Gabriel well, spending
several days with him and his father, as they attended club
meetings and conventions.
is Dr. Denis Bourguignon, a dentist in Orlando, Florida, who
has trademarked the name, "Starbase Dental," and
whose office has a "Star Trek" theme. He, his wife
Shelly, and his entire dental staff wear "Star Trek"
uniforms while working on their patients. Everywhere you look
there is some sort of trekabilia. We spent a day with him
and his patients, to find out how this affects them and to
ask why they go to a dentist dressed in a "Star Trek"
uniform? Is it more than a novelty?
Mason is the on-air host of the "TALK TREK AND BEYOND"
radio show on CRN (2.5 million listeners), a nationwide call-in
show. The show airs out of Sunland, California, Sunday nights
from 9:00pm to 10:00pm. Joyce's show is a free-form discussion
of all things Trek-related. Guests on the show have ranged
from "Star Trek" cast members to UFO abductees.
Seven years ago, Joyce was working at a law firm as a legal
assistant, when she turned to Evelyn de Biase, a Trek-fan
co-worker, and said, "Nobody's doing a 'Star Trek' radio
show--we should do one." Having no broadcast training,
and not sure where to start, Joyce called directory assistance
and asked for the phone number to a radio station. When the
operator asked, "Which radio station?" Joyce said,
"I don't know. Pick one." Joyce made the call, and
the radio station's general manager said, "Sounds interesting,
let's talk." The show has aired ever since.... The way
Joyce puts it, "Some people talk French, some talk German,
we talk Trek!"
Laurel, and Tammi (their poodle) Greenstein, of Woodland Hills,
California share a love of "Star Trek." David wears
his Starfleet uniform on a regular basis, and has a house
full of "Star Trek" memorabilia. He is so enamored
of the Vulcan approach to life, he has even considered plastic
surgery to give his ears Vulcan-shaped points.
Frazetti is a cat owner from Boston who's cat, "Bones,"
wears Dr. McCoy uniforms. They do everything together, including
watching "Star Trek" on TV. Unfortunately Bones
passed away a few months after filming, due to a genetic left
atrial enlargement complicated by an infectious peritonitis
virus (Daryl is studying to be a veterinarian), but Daryl's
new cats, "Jasper" and "Bones Junior"
are learning to enjoy "Star Trek" as well.
list of profiled Trekkies is long. A man legally changed his
name to James T. Kirk; Pat Rimington, a convention promoter,
auctioned off John de Lancie's half empty water glass for
$60; Glen Proechel, founder of the Interstellar Language School
in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, teaches students from around
the world to correctly speak the Klingon language; the Chamber
of Commerce of the town of Riverside, Iowa (Population 826),
proclaimed the town the future birthplace of Captain James
T. Kirk (3-22-2228); the people of the town of Vulcan, Alberta,
Canada constructed a thirty-one-foot replica of the Starship
Enterprise at the entrance to the city.... The effects of
"Star Trek" reach far and wide.